Deuteronomy 29 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“All of you are standing today before the L_rd your G_d – your leaders, tribes, elders, officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, and the foreigners in your camps who cut your wood and draw your water – so that you may enter into the covenant of the L_rd your G_d, which He is making with you today, so that you may enter into His oath and so that He may establish you today as His people and He may be your G_d as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am making this covenant and this oath not only with you, but also with those who are standing here with us today in the presence of the L_rd our G_d and with those who are not here today.” Deuteronomy 29:10-15
Deuteronomy 27-30, are chapters pertaining to G_d’s covenant: Blessings for abiding by His commands, Curses for transgressing them and provisions for Repentance & Returning to the L_rd.
Almost hidden in all the verbiage, is exactly WHO the covenant was pertaining to. Obviously G_d is making His covenant with all Israel, but who were the “foreigners”? Israel is generally defined as those whose biological lineage is traced through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But along side the Israelite is the Foreigner who seeks after the L_rd. Whether slaves or members of the “mixed multitude” who left Egypt with the Israelites, the Bible records G_d’s desire for the foreigner to know & worship Him, by His inclusion of them in His covenant.
Know for sure, that G_d’s covenant with Israel concerning the LAND is very clear. The land is divided among the tribes of Israel…and those of Israel who are scattered (even today) have the right of return. This is not only the position of the modern Israeli government, per se, but it is what is written in Scripture.
There is an open attitude among Orthodox Jews, through organizations like Chabad…which you see on most major college campuses and all over the world…to teach the Torah to Gentiles (non-Jews). But they teach that Gentiles are under the “Noahide covenant”. That is, the general promise G_d gave to mankind after the great flood. They teach that Gentiles have no “Torah claim” to the covenants beyond the great flood of Noah’s day.
Deuteronomy 29 is very clear that G_d was speaking not only to those who are “Israel” by blood, but also those who are G_d’s people by Grace, through Faith (per the covenant of Abraham) when they faithfully follow Adonai. While the two are separate with respect to DNA and the Land, they are alike in terms of G_d’s blessing to those who, by faith, believe in Messiah Yeshua and are counted righteous by His grace.
Going back to Israel, what difference does it make if Jewish people return to the land, yet refuse to return to the L_rd? In the end, they are far worse-off than the Gentiles who have no claim to the land, yet trust in Messiah and receive atonement and eternal salvation.
Daily Devotional, Friday, July 11, 2014